Sinhala (Sri Lanka)Tamil (Sri Lanka)
You are here:  Home About Us Overview



The effective management and preservation of documentary heritage to protect national identity, accountability and memory.


To systematically manage and preserve evidential records of public authorities and to preserve private archives that reflect the history and culture of the nation

Objectives and Functions

The Objectives & Functions set out in the National Archives Act No.48 of 1973 and National Archives (Amendment) Act No.30 of 1981

  1. Ensue official custody and physical safety of public records.
  2. To make them available for reference and study.
  3. To conduct record surveys in Public Institutions.
  4. Serve as the legal depository for Newspapers and Publications printed in the Island.
  5. Conduct training workshops in Records Management and conservation.
  6. Implement the Printing Presses, Printers and Publishers and Newspaper Ordinances.
  7. Preserve and Indexing of the private collections deposited in the   Department.
  8. Conservation of records at religious institutions

Legislations & Regulations


  1. National Archives Act No.48 of 1973
  2. National Archives (Amendment) Act No. 30 of 1981
  3. Ordinances
    1. Printing Presses Ordinance No.16 of 1902  (Cap. 373) and its’ Amendments
    2. Printers and Publishers Ordinance No.01 of 1885 (Cap.375) and its’ Amendments
    3. Newspapers Ordinance No.5 of 1839 (Cap. 376) and its’ Amendments


  1. Public access to Public records,
    Government Gazette No. 15 of 15.12.1978.
  2. Public access to Commission records
    Government Gazette No. 74 of 02.01.1980.
  3. Disposal action for Judicial (Court) records
    Government Gazette No. 21 of 26.01.1979.
  4. Disposal of Kachcheri records
    Government Gazette No. 99 of 25.07.1980.
  5. Disposal of Housekeeping/Ephemeral records in Public Institutions,
    Government Gazette No. 313 of 31.08.1984.
  6. Administrative Regulation on disposal of records Chapter 28 Sections 9:1- 9:8 of the Establishment Code.
  7. Public Administration circular on preservation preparing of schedules of Government records No 25/2008 of 17. 12.2008.
  8. Search Room Rules of the National Archives.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 August 2021 07:18  


Registered Books, Magazines,
Journals News Paper & Printing Press

Archives Holdings

Gives brief description on certain record groups

Latest Image Gallery

Our latest images...

Thombu Index

Detailed references to Tombos or the land registers first compiled by the Portuguese and later improved by the Dutch

Send Your Comments

Tell us your Grievance
comments today


Price list of archival

Copyright © 2024 Department of National Archives. All Rights Reserved.
Last Update: 16-04-2024.